Housing association tenants happiest among social housing sector, survey finds
Satisfaction levels far exceed those of local authority or private sector tenants, report says
Kenneth and Nicola Mander from Cabra at the launch of Tenant Experience Survey . Photograph: Cyril Byrne
“ I was a lone parent looking for my home for my son. The council passed my name to Tuath Housing ” said Nicola Mander of the moment eight years ago when the possibilities of a housing association home opened up to her.
“I love it” she said. “ I got back with my son’s dad and we had three more children. We love our home in Cabra. It is great, the housing association is always there with maintenance, the neighbours are great. We have no issues”.
Husband Kenneth Mander said they believe they are looked after better than in local authority housing and have “far better” security of tenure than the private rental sector.
The Manders are one of a number of couples cited by the Irish Council for Social Housing which on Friday released its latest research survey.
It surveyed more than 400 tenants from across almost 300 housing associations that currently manage more than 30,000 social homes in Ireland.
The research showed far higher levels of satisfaction among tenants than is evident among either tenants of local authorities or the private rental sector.
According to Dr Donal McManus chief executive of the Irish Council for Social Housing the research showed more than 80 percent of housing association tenants surveyed said they were happy with the quality of their homes and services. The satisfaction levels far exceed those of local authority or private sector tenants, he said.
Dr McManus cited National Oversight and Audit Commission reports which noted that 55 per cent of inspected private rental properties failed to meet housing standards. In addition the audit commission reports showed just 58 percent of local authority tenants were happy with the level of maintenance, he said.
The survey results were published on European Neighbour’s Day, neighbourliness being an important part of the housing association package, according to the Irish Council for Social Housing.
“Findings like this help to reinforce our belief that a tenant focused housing association scheme can quickly grow into a deeply rooted community” said Dr McManus.
He added that Minister for housing Simon Coveney has set a target for numbers of new homes provided by housing associations to grow by 50 percent over the next five years, to 45,000 households.
However he warned that the council was concerned about the amounth of tenants who said they could not afford heating. “Recent CSO figures also document a worrying increase in the number of individuals who cannot keep their home adequately warm. Fuel poverty is a recognised deprivation indicator, so this is an important consideration”, he said.